Ah, the unflappable, unbendable Spoon. Since their Austin origins in the early '90s, Britt Daniel, Jim Eno and crew have put their heads down, stayed out of the spotlight, written great song after great song, and inch by inch built themselves a pretty amazing career. And even better, it's a career that has belatedly begun to be rewarded on a commercial scale even slightly approaching their talent. Their 2007 album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga marked Spoon's debut in Billboard's Top 10 and went on to sell more than 300,000 copies, while 2010's Transference — both released on hyper-respected Merge Records, a label that fits Spoon like a glove — did the previous one better and bowed in the Top 5. With Eno steady as a rock behind him, Daniel has become the Nick Lowe or Marshall Crenshaw of his generation: Someone whose uncommon knack for an acerbic melody and unexpectedly melancholy lyrics, coupled with the ability to thrive on the fringes of stardom, has made him an even better songwriter than he would have already been. Eight albums in, with each Spoon record you can count on a lost pop hit from another universe ("Written in Reverse" on Transference) and one song ("Who Makes Your Money") that will haunt your dreams for days and even weeks into the future.


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